BELLFLOWER – Bellflower Unified School District is inviting parents to attend a series of open houses for its new California State Preschool Program to see newly equipped classrooms, meet preschool staffers and pick up registrations packets.

The expanded preschool program can serve 240 children ages 3 and 4 through an 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. morning session and a 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. afternoon session Monday through Friday at six school sites. Classes are set to begin Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Among changes in store for 2016-17, Bellflower Unified is expanding family eligibility and customizing curriculum to align more cohesively with TK/K-12 instruction.

“We want to ensure our students are prepared for the rigorous lessons that await them in transitional kindergarten and kindergarten,” Bellflower Unified Superintendent Dr. Brian Jacobs said. “By providing this jumpstart to our preschoolers, they will enter elementary school more confident and with a greater chance of achieving success.”

As part of the program, the District is also launching a dual-language immersion program for up to 32 students. Dual-immersion classes will run for three hours a day, five days per week. Children will receive 90 percent of their instruction in Spanish and 10 percent in English, matching the model used in Bellflower Unified’s elementary dual-immersion program.

Children who join the dual-immersion program will receive priority for enrollment in the elementary program at Bellflower Unified’s Intensive Learning Center. Parents may register their child for the dual immersion preschool program for $225 per month.

Bellflower launched its elementary-level dual-immersion program with kindergarteners at the Intensive Learning Center in 2013-14. It expands to third grade this year, and will continue grow by a grade level annually.

Research shows dual-immersion students not only learn the targeted language, but also gain significant understanding of cultures associated with the language, show overall cognitive advances and earn stronger grades in school.

“As California becomes more diverse it is important that we equip our students with Spanish-language skills that will allow them to learn and work in different communities,” Assistant Superintendent Stacey Larsen-Everson said. “Our hope is that the District will grow this program so we can offer dual-language immersion to even more students in the future.”

At each open house, the first 15 families to arrive will receive a free children’s book. The open houses will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on the following dates:

  • July 26: Ernie Pyle Elementary, 14500 S. Woodruff Ave., Bellflower, CA 90706
  • July 27: Craig Williams Elementary, 644 Clark Ave., Lakewood CA 90712
  • July 28: Intensive Learning Center, 4718 E. Michelson St., Lakewood, CA 90712
  • Aug. 2: Las Flores Educational Center, 10039 E. Palm St., Bellflower, CA 90706
  • Aug. 3: Frank Woodruff Elementary, 15332 S. Eucalyptus Ave., Bellflower, CA 90706
  • Aug. 4: Washington Elementary, 9725 Jefferson St., Bellflower, CA 90706